The question of how to choose the right TV for you is a complicated one, with many factors to consider — that's why our experts have compiled this TV buying guide for you. Here are the things you should consider when buying a TV, whether you choose smart TVs or traditional ones, indoor or outdoor TVs, and more. Our goal at Appliances Connection is to help you make the right choice for your needs, since the perfect TV for one home will be completely unsuitable for another, and vice versa. Here's what to consider when buying a television.
Televisions have come a long way from the early days of cathode ray tubes, and the technology used to make them has generally gone down in price. These days, you can get a moderately-sized TV with good connectivity and a decent resolution for under $300, and added features often don't tack much on to the selling price.
Truly high-end features such as OLED panels, 8K resolution, and top-of-the-line software will increase the price of your television. It's important to note that if you plan to connect a lot of things to your TV (or do a lot of things on the screen in the first place), it may be worth it to pay the premium for a television that comes with these features.
Range of Sizes
Appliances Connection offers a whole spectrum of television sizes, from under 20 in. wide to a whopping 98 in. wide. In addition to measuring the size of the space your TV will be in, you should consider how far away from it you will be sitting. The general rule of thumb is to measure your chosen size of TV and divide that number (in inches) by 0.55. The resulting number is how many inches away you should sit from a TV that size. So if you want a 48-in. television, you will want to place your seating about 87 in. away from it.
Every television setup is going to be unique, but there are two main types of TV installation: freestanding and wall-mounted. For a freestanding setup, consider the weight of the television as well as the clearance of the stand you plan on setting it on. If you choose a wall-mounted television, you will have added considerations, from the placement of the cords to the type of furniture that you place under it.
Outdoor televisions are another alternative: these are resistant to the elements and tend to have brighter screens, allowing you to view them in full daylight. An outdoor television can also handle a greater temperature variance than an indoor television, so if you want to install your TV above a fireplace, you may want to consider one of these as an option.
One thing to consider when buying a new television is what you plan on connecting to it. Do you have multiple gaming systems or streaming sets? Do you plan on connecting your personal computer to your TV? If so, look for a set with a lot of available HDMI ports. In general, you can count the number of devices you want to connect and then add one in order to get the number of HDMI ports you need.
Smart TVs are a great option for a lot of people, especially if you already have a smart home setup (such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa), or even if you're just not very good at remote controls. They have a variety of features that make them stand out from regular televisions, including:
- Easy access to streaming media services and the Internet
- Voice controls
- On-demand video from online and offline sources
- Interactive features such as games
The three main types of television screen are OLED, LED, and LCD. Each of these screens has benefits and drawbacks.
OLED televisions are made from organic light-emitting diodes. They tend to be extremely thin, since they don't need a bulky backlight. OLED screens give you the highest level of control over your image, and provide smooth, colorful, high-contrast images. They do tend to come at a higher cost than their counterparts, and they come in a limited range of screen sizes.
LED televisions use light-emitting diodes to illuminate an image. They provide colorful, bright images at a much lower cost, but they have a narrower viewing angle than OLED screens.
LCD televisions are the most established of these technologies: they use a liquid crystal display to create their image. They are becoming rarer as LED screens become cheaper, as the technologies used are quite similar.
There are two primary shapes of TV screen in the 21st century: flat and curved. Each of these has different benefits, so it's a good idea to consider these before you make your purchase. Curved televisions offer a more immersive experience and allow for a slightly larger screen in a small space. However, people sitting far from the screen may see a distorted image or have inconvenient reflections in the way. Flat screen televisions are far more common in the 2020s, and nearly all the TV sets you find on the market are of the flat screen variety.
Choosing a Resolution
One of the most significant things to consider when buying a new television is the resolution of its screen. Resolution refers to the number of pixels that the screen displays. For 1080p TVs and those with lower resolutions, the number refers to the number of pixels in every vertical column. For 4k (Ultra HD) and 8k TVs, the number refers to the number of pixels in each horizontal row.
There is no single "correct" resolution for a TV set. The right resolution for you will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the set, how far away from the screen you will be, and what you plan to watch on it. If your entire library is copied from VHS tapes from the 1980s, you probably won't benefit from having an 8k screen resolution. The larger your television, the more important having a high resolution becomes. This graph will help you select the right resolution for your needs.
A television's refresh rate represents how often the screen refreshes itself every second. This number is different from the number of video frames it displays every second. Nearly every modern TV has a refresh rate of either 60 Hertz or 120 Hertz. With a high refresh rate, the smoother your television's image will be, and motion blur becomes less of a problem. While either of these numbers will work for day-to-day usage, if you plan on getting a 4K television or playing a lot of high-speed video games on your new TV, you should look at TVs with a 120 Hz refresh rate.
If you're still not sure about what size of television you want to buy, ask yourself one question: would you prefer to have a TV that's slightly too big, or one that's slightly too small? A large television can often be moved further away from furniture. On the other hand, a too-small TV will require you to either squint or move the TV and seating closer to each other. Neither of these is a very good option in the long term, so in the absence of physical barriers, it's nearly always better to err on the side of getting a larger screen.